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Secondhand Smoke

According to the Surgeon General Report, there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.  Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals that are considered toxic and cause cancer.

 

Secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke, is the smoke exhaled from smokers and the smoke from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar or pipe (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2010).  According to the Surgeon General Report, there is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke.  Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals that are considered toxic and cause cancer.

 

An estimated 50,000 deaths (11%) of all tobacco-related deaths in the United States each year are attributable to exposure to secondhand smoke (WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2009). Secondhand smoke exposure is higher among females(32%) than males(29%). Also more Non-Hispanic Blacks are exposed to secondhand smoke than Non-Hispanic whites(22%).

 

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Secondhand Smoke and Children
Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are at an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), acute respiratory symptoms and slow lung growth (Surgeon General Report, 2006).

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, secondhand smoke is a leading trigger for asthma. Asthma in children is one of the most common chronic childhood diseases. In the United States, 7 million children have asthma. Asthma is an incurable chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airway (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2010).  It causes repeated wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. 

 

Children with asthma exposed to secondhand smoke irritate the inflamed bronchial passages; triggering asthma episodes and attacks (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2010). Thirty-five percent of high school students reported riding in a car with someone who was smoking cigarettes in the past seven days.

 

View the PSA on Secondhand Smoke and Children     You Tube
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Secondhand Smoke:

Protect Yourself and Your Children

 

- Don’t smoke in the house. Ask others not to smoke in your home.

- Don’t smoke in the car. Ask others not to smoke in your car.

- Ask visitors not to smoke around you and your children.

- Choose smoke-free restaurants.

- Hang out and play in nonsmoking outdoors areas.  

 

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